Water touches everything we care about as sportsmen. It’s hard to imagine a hunting trip or fishing expedition that doesn’t, in some way, depend on quality water supplies – supplies that often are unavailable for fish, wildlife and habitat due to competition from other uses or simply dwindling water resources.
Yet, if you lookaround Washington, D.C., today, no one is delivering that message to decision makers. Many hunting and angling groups work on a variety of water issues, from protecting coldwater fisheries to restoring wetlands critical to waterfowl and improving dam operations for the benefit of fish and wildlife. However, a piecemeal approach can only go so far – especially given the magnitude of the water management challenges facing the country today.
Water management decisions have a range of economic, environmental and social impacts that stretch from headwaters to oceans. Whether it affects local access to water, regional water supplies or national conservation efforts, sportsmen must engage on decisions impacting water use. If hunters and anglers don’t speak up, water for fish, wildlife and habitat will be the first on the chopping block.
What is missing, therefore, is a dedicated and cohesive sportsmen’s voice in comprehensive, long-term water planning.
The TRCP and our partners have a unique opportunity to bolster our mission to you – “to guarantee all Americans quality places to hunt and fish” – with the creation of the Center for Water Resources. This new, sportsmen-driven initiative will ensure that decisions about water resources management benefit sportsmen. We are committed to communicating to you – and educating the broader public about – the importance of these issues.
The new TRCP initiative comes along at a time when we face daunting water management challenges. Municipalities are struggling to secure water supplies for their residents, farmers’ fields are going fallow due to depleted aquifers, and large swaths of the country suffer from severe droughts and floods.
Each of these challenges will become more difficult as population growth and climate change exacerbate current conditions. If we do nothing, water scarcity and increased competition for resources may put an end to our long-held hunting and fishing traditions.
The good news is that, as a community, sportsmen have an opportunity to confront these challenges – with help from the TRCP Center for Water Resources. The Center is committed to improving your hunting and fishing experience through water conservation efforts.
Your voice is needed in the fight. Keep an eye on the TRCP Blog for future updates, and sign up to receive email updates about the latest actions and how you can help.
Have a question about your water resources? Leave it in the comment section below.